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Engagement Love Shoot Outfit Ideas

Your Love Shoot will be such a fun date with your fiance! I may not be a stylist, but I have some tips to make you look and feel incredible for your session! (This post was originally published in June 2012, then updated with new photos and more links in April 2014!)

What to wear to your Engagement Shoot (Anna Kerns Photography)

1.  Change is good. Wear one casual outfit and one dressy outfit. Even though two outfits are nice, I suggest bringing more outfit options so you can ask me what will look best. As celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe says, “OVER-PULL!” for a shoot, meaning bring extra outfit and accessory options than you think you may use.

What to wear at your Engagement Session (Anna Kerns Photography)

2.  Coordinate Colors. This doesn’t mean matchy-matchy. Although it generally doesn’t look good to wear the same color shirt, it’s harmonious to wear two colors next to each other on the color wheel – such as aqua paired with blue, or purple paired with blue. One of my favorite looks is when the girl wears a pastel blouse/dress, and the guy wears a neutral shirt. Neutral colors can be paired with practically any color (especially pastels) – some of my favorites include grays, pale blue, browns, khaki, white, and army green. But even though pastels and neutrals are my favorites, they may not be yours, so don’t be afraid of pops of color!

What to wear to your Engagement Shoot (Anna Kerns Photography)

3.  Fit is everything. How your clothing fits is more important than style trends. You want your outfit to be stylish, but not something that’s going to make you say, “That’s so 2014.” Wear something you’re comfortable in that accentuates your best features. You will have so much more fun if you’re confident and comfortable in what you’re wearing!

Engagement Shoot - What to Wear (Anna Kerns Photography)

4.  Have fun with accessories. Jewelry, shoes, hair accessories, and belts can give a basic outfit a pop of color and texture. A statement necklace can jazz up a solid colored top or dress! If you want to look taller, wear nude/neutral colored heels. If you’re going to wear heels, bring along a pair of sandals for walking between locations.

Engagement Shoot Outfit (Anna Kerns Photography)

5.  Layer like a Mexican Dip. Outfits have more texture, dimension, and color when layered. You may want to add a cardigan, blazer, or jacket to your top or dress – even if for just some of the photos!

What to wear to your Engagement Shoot (Anna Kerns Photography)

6.  Glam it up, honey. This is a great time to get to know your wedding day make-up artist (and even have your bridal trial on the same day). I’d be happy to send you recommendations! But if you’re going to do it yourself, be sure to apply more than your everyday look. Use blush to bring warmth to your cheeks. Bring attention to your eyes with eyeliner and mascara. Definitely wear lip color, but use gloss with caution since you’ll be giving lots of kisses! Bring your foundation/powder along for touch-ups, as well as your lip color.

What to wear to your Engagement Shoot (Anna Kerns Photography)

7.  Go on a date. The best marriages still have date nights and adventures! This can be a part of your Love Shoot, too! Have a picnic in a park. Cook together at home. Have a cup of coffee. Read books together. Walk the dog. Go to a carnival. Check out this Pinterest link for even more ENGAGEMENT SHOOT DATES! Also, let me know if there are any places nearby that are meaningful or memorable to your relationship, like the spot where he proposed, or your favorite restaurant.

8.  Bling, bling. Clean your engagement ring before the shoot with these at home instructions, or take it to the jewelry store for maintenance, because I will be taking close-up ring shots! Also, all eyes will be on your ring finger, so put on some fresh nail color.

What to wear to your Engagement Shoot (Anna Kerns Photography)

9.  Celebrate your personalities. Think about your interests and hobbies. If you’re huge sports fans, bring your team jerseys. If you play an instrument, you can serenade your beau. If you love being outdoors, let’s go on an adventure. You can include props and themed outfits for a portion of your session. I want your engagement portraits to capture who you are as a couple!

What to wear to your Engagement Shoot (Anna Kerns Photography)

10.  Take a look around. Head over to my Pinterest for SPRING-SUMMER OUTFITS or FALL-WINTER OUTFITS! Now that you’re inspired, take a look around your closet before heading to the mall. You probably already have some great pieces and accessories to build an outfit on. Your fashionista bridesmaid may even let you look around her closet, too!

Anna Kerns Photography Pinterest Board for Engagement Shoot Outfits

And just remember, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile!”

Lessons Learned in the Sixth Year

Have you ever taken a minute from a busy day to slowly sip a cup of tea, or taken an hour from a busy week to treat yourself to a spa treatment (even in your own bathtub), or taken a week from a busy year to enjoy vacation with your family? Those are the kind of things I look forward to. Those little moments of bliss remind you that even though you LOVE what you do, and you’re wonderful at what you do, it’s not good for you to do it ALL the time. It’s refreshing to take a break. And it feels really good to take care of yourself.

I’ve recently learned to follow this simple yet profound airline instruction, “Secure your own mask before assisting others.” To help and serve others, you must first take care of yourself. I used to think that was selfish, until about eight months ago. That’s when the double espressos, only 4 hours of sleep, microwave dinners, gotta miss another social event, just put it in a ponytail – kind of days began. I wondered if I was still human. I didn’t feel like the vibrant, charming, sweet girl that Matt married just a year before. I was so focused on work that I wasn’t paying attention to myself – and that my friends, is more destructive than being selfish.

So how did I get back to being my bright-eyed, witty, cheerful self? I listened to Pharrell’s “Happy” on repeat. No, I set boundaries for my workdays, set goals for my health, and set aside time to be me. As much as I love being a wedding photographer, I’m also a wife, a mommy to two doggies, a daughter, a sister-in-law, a member of a church community, and a friend. Don’t get me wrong, I still work A LOT, but I can achieve so much more when I’m well rested, focused, positive, and healthy in every sense. I’m finally enjoying the life God intended me to have because I’m learning my limits, and learning how to have more focused workdays.

I can sleep 7.5 hours every night + make healthy meals + play with my dogs + workout at the gym + pray + spend time with my husband + get a lot of work done. Yes, AND get a lot of work done! All those things don’t happen every single day, but they can. When it comes to computer work (which is a 90% of my job) I’ve found I can get more done with focused bursts of work. You can read more about that awesome strategy here, but stick around for one more major thing I learned…

Know your limits. You can only do so much. Part of what got me in a pickle is I said YES too much. To be perfectly honest, I took on too many weddings too close together last year. But I changed my game plan for 2014 so I can take better care of myself. There are buffer weekends built in to my wedding season calendar – to catch up on editing, to rest, to breathe. There are massages scheduled for the Monday after every wedding weekend. There’s a family beach vacation between the peaks of wedding season. All those little moments of bliss are going to be so refreshing, so I can come back to work with genuine enthusiasm!

Perhaps you’ve seen the quote, “You have as many hours in a day as Beyonce.” It’s meant to be encouraging – that you can achieve anything, right? But I couldn’t stop laughing when @mavenbeautybar posted, “Yes, but she has a nanny, housekeeper, chef, personal trainer, hairstylist, makeup artist, and manicurist. Let’s keep it real.” So be realistic about how much you have to do, and if it’s too much to handle, get some help. It could be a sign of growth, not weakness! To my photographer friends, you may want to consider hiring out a photo editor, album designer, or office manager. Another great resource for anyone busy, especially moms, is TaskRabbit, which allows you to outsource errands and housework. Just don’t be afraid to ask for help or support. Love what you do – but don’t let yourself burn out from it.

Now that I’m trying to have super focused workdays, trying not take on more than I can handle, and trying to take care of myself – there’s so much more joy in my life. And I’m finally going to make this blog happen! I was super blessed by 19 weddings and 35 portrait sessions in 2013 (my sixth year as a wedding photographer!) and I can’t wait to share them with you!

I’d love to hear from you! What part of your life would benefit from more focus? If you’ve been pushing your limits, is there anything you can delegate, outsource, or take a little break from?

ashley - i really like this post! it definitely keeps things in perspective! i’ll just be so glad when i can finally go full time! haha. just need to get a few more weddings before that’s gonna happen. ;) i love the idea of scheduling little breaks and pick-me-ups in between the craziness! great post!

Mary Brunst (@marybrunstphoto) - Oh my goodness, I felt like I was just reading my own story! I too recently hit total burn out and had to learn the hard way of how to set simple boundaries. It makes me feel so much better to know that other people have felt the same! Thanks for sharing and thanks for the wonderful reminders! Really great post!

Karen Allen - LOVE this and I couldn’t agree more! I totally burned myself out at the end of last year and nevwr saw my husband, pups, or friends. Not worth it at all. Boundaries are a must! And having grace with myself and my own expectations. :)

Angela Snyder - Amen to all of that haha, I feel like I was just thinking this today, I even took the morning off to play with some sculpey and cuddle with my dogs :) that Beyoncé thing cracked me up too!

2013 – A Beautiful Year

This year, I was blessed to celebrate and capture the weddings of 19 amazing couples! It was such an honor to be a part of the most special day of their lives. I am so grateful for these couples, my husband and family, and my Savior! Because of them, I’ve had the love and support to passionately pursue my photography. I’m ending 2013 with a business stronger than I could have imagined, and a heart fuller than I’ve ever known. Cheers to another beautiful year ahead!

Anna Kerns Photography Weddings 2013